Thursday 22 February 2018

'A rising star': Funeral held for young GAA player (22) who died after collapsing during indoor football match

The funeral has taken place for talented GAA player Kevin King.

The 22-year-old, who played for St Mary's Slaughtmanus, in Co Londonderry, was with a group of friends at an indoor football arena in Campsie when tragedy struck last week.

It is understood they were less than five minutes into a game, with Kevin in goals, when he fell to the ground without warning.

Staff frantically tried to revive him at the scene before an ambulance arrived, but he could not be resuscitated and was pronounced dead at Altnagelvin Area Hospital.

The cause of death will not be known until after a post-mortem examination is carried out.

However, it is understood that the young player previously collapsed during a Gaelic match for his club in May and was rushed to hospital.

Afterwards, he underwent a series of medical examinations and had not played a game since the incident.

St Mary's chairman, Eddie Derry, whose two sons were with Mr King when he collapsed, said the death had caused shock in the community.

Speaking ahead of the funeral, he said: "Kevin was a gifted player and really was a rising star on the field with plenty of talent.

"But he was also an amazing young man off the pitch as well and a good friend to my own sons.

"Our thoughts and prayers are first and foremost with Kevin's parents, John and Margaret, and his brother, Martin, as well as the wider family," he added.

A huge number of tributes to the tragic player were also posted on social media.

Anto Hargan described Mr King as a "true gent" and added: "(He was) one of the most decent and unassuming, but yet talented and driven individuals that I've had the pleasure to play alongside."

Belfast Telegraph

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